Last expansion I made a lot of money on Darkmoon Faire cards. They make powerful trinkets that are very useful for initial raiding and I was the first man in on the market. Inscription was harder to level and the mats that went into the cards started out quite cheap. I'd bought the market out to make early cards and then the price of cards stabilized at the eventual higher price for volatile life. It was pretty sweet.
This time around there are some substantial differences. Inscription was a lot easier to level. The Faire came out a week later compared to expansion release so there's more time for other people to get in. The biggest difference is you can't make as many cards as you want. There's a daily cooldown to make a Scroll of Wisdom and each card takes one of those scrolls. This means each scribe can make at most one card per day. With 32 different cards the odds of actually making a full deck on your own is really slim at this point. I can make at most 19 cards before the Faire leaves this time around. As such the idea that I could make a full deck myself is pretty laughable. If I want to get involved it would either be as a seller of individual cards or by trying to trade. That would involve talking to people and I hate people...
So, assuming I'm just selling individual cards, the question is... Is this worthwhile? I need to look at other uses of the SoWs and I need to look at the value of the other materials compared to potential sale prices of the cards.
First of all, SoWs are used in only 6 patterns. Darkmoon cards, 2 boe epic offhands, and 3 boa epic staves. I have no use for a level 90 staff. I have no way to tell if the offhands are selling or not, but they look to be worth about 3000G per SoW. They're only ilvl 476 so I don't think they're a real long term use of SoW. So, unless 3000G per SoW is a high mark I doubt I'd be using my SoW on anything except for Darkmoon cards.
What about the other materials? Well, there's a 10 copper vendor item that can be trivially ignored. Then there are 10 starlight inks. These are the new uncommon tier ink from Mists herbs. As of right now there is no ink trader to trade up for them. The only way to get them is by trading a full spirit of harmony for one or by milling. What are these things worth? There are two ways to look at it... Cost of materials or value of alternative items.
Value of alternative items is the easy one. 3 inks go into one of the new boe shoulder enchants. I've been able to sell one for 600G and a few in the 330-400G range. I'm going to go with 300G as a reasonable value for the enchant so 100G per ink. The only other use for the inks are the other SoW items which I'm already ignoring.
What about cost of materials? Milling herbs gets you the normal ink and the uncommon ink. Normal ink is pretty worthless right now because there's no ink trader. I have stacks of the ink that I can't get rid of right now. They're worth about 7G on the AH (and I should probably start selling). Should an ink trader come in they're probably be worth more like 7.5G each as I could start making all my glyphs out of them. My min sell price for a glyph is 30G, they take 3 ink, and I want to get some sort of profit out of them so they have to be worth less than 10G. Lets go with 7G as the current value of this ink and look at what milling 5 herbs gets me:
Green Tea Leaf, Rain Poppy, Silkweed, Snow Lily - 50% chance of 1 normal ink, 50% chance of 1.5 normal ink
Fool's Cap - 33% chance of 1 normal ink, 33% chance of 1.5 normal ink, 33% chance of 2 normal ink
So a stack of most herbs gets me 35G worth of base ink. A stack of the good herbs gets me 42G worth of base ink. Then for the good ink...
Green Tea Leaf, Rain Poppy, Silkweed, Snow Lily - 24% chance of .5 good ink, .8% chance of 1 good ink, .6% chance of 1.5 good ink
Fool's Cap - 48% chance of .5 good ink, 1.6% chance of 1 good ink, 1.2% chance of 1.5 good ink
So a stack of most herbs will get me .548 of an ink. A stack of the good herb will get me 1.096 of an ink. So, how much am I paying for a stack and how much does that make an ink worth?
90G - 100G per ink
100G - 119G per ink
110G - 137G per ink
190G - 283G per ink
200G - 301G per ink
220G - 338G per ink
And the good herb...
225G - 166G per ink
The first thing I'm noticing here is my price for shoulder enchants is really, really low. I need to go adjust my mod. And probably not sell any more of them. With current herb prices it's actually a loss to be making these things right now.
What about the current price of ink on the AH? Looks like around 2k per ink right now... So maybe I should be milling herbs and selling ink!
Circling back, what about darkmoon cards?
Ox deck - 26k
Oxen cards - 1k-2.5k
Crane deck - unknown
Crane cards - 6k-13k
Serpents deck - unknown
Serpents cards - 4-6k
Tigers deck - unknown
Tigers cards - 7-12k
Ok, average that all out with the lower values for each deck and you're probably getting 4.5k per card. The card takes one SoW (value-3K) and 10 ink (value-1.6k if milling, 20k on the AH). So it's a loss to make the cards even if milling at current herb values assuming you only get the lower bound on the cards.
If I really wanted one of the trinkets maybe it would make sense to work on this. (I do kinda want the strength trinket, and would really want it if I was raiding, but don't really need it for challenge modes.) But as things stand I think I'll try to liquidate my ink and see if prices make sense later on. I can only make one card per day but I can stack up SoW and make the cards in the future should it make sense then.